What is the Church – Sermon notes

Church: Derived probably from the Greek kuriakon (i.e., “the Lord’s house”), which was used by ancient authors for the place of worship. -Easton’s

Psa 48:1-14
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. (2) Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King. (3) God is known in her palaces for a refuge. (4) For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. (5) They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away. (6) Fear took hold upon them there, and pain, as of a woman in travail. (7) Thou breakest the ships of Tarshish with an east wind. (8) As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. (9) We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. (10) According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness. (11) Let mount Zion rejoice, let the daughters of Judah be glad, because of thy judgments. (12) Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. (13) Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. (14) For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Isa 2:2
And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.

Isa 26:1-2
In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. (2) Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in

Isa 33:20
Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken. (Remove not the ancient landmark!)

Isa 54:1
Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the LORD. (2) Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; (3) For thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left; and thy seed shall inherit the Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.

(Amos 7:7-8 contrast the two plumblines) (Eph 2:11-22) (The name is not Christian, that was a name applied by the heathen)

Other thoughts:
Psalms 87, Rev. 22:14-15

Genesis – She is the Garden of Eden, where God walked with Adam in the cool of the evening.
Exodus – She is the Promised Land
Leviticus – the heavenly example of the earthly tabernacle
Numbers – Israel in the wilderness always attacked
Deuteronomy – she is the Lord’s portion and the lot of his inheritance
Joshua/Judges – she is worth fighting for, and the choice for a family
Ruth – a gentile who forsook all to follow God
The Kingdoms and the Chronicles – she is the mighty kingdom, the temple and the hope.
Ezra – she is worth coming home to
In Nehemiah – she is the great walled city, rebuilt by the King’s decree
In Esther she is the loyal wife raised up at the moment to save God’s people.
In the Job, David and Solomon, she is Zion, wisdom, our mother, our strong tower, and the assembly of his saints
In Solomon’s Song she is the bride of God.
In Isaiah she is the obedient and faithful wife, a branch of God’s planting, she is sought out and a city not forsaken
In Jeremiah she is the new covenant.
In Lamentations she is repentant and the perfection of the whole world

In Ezekiel she is a city with a watchman, listening for the trumpet.
In Daniel she is the kingdom that breaks all others, the stone cut without by hands.
In Hosea she is saved and loved by her husband.
In Joel, she is God’s mighty army and his heritage
In Amos she is the rising tabernacle of David and the plumb line
In Obadiah is the ambassador among the heathen
In Jonah she is God’s unquestionable reason.
In Micah she is God’s justice.
In Nahum she is God’s remembrance.
In Habakkuk she is the work among the gentiles.
In Zephaniah she is the restoration.
In Haggai she is the glory of the latter.
In Zechariah she is the holy mountain
In Malachi she awaits her Messiah.

In Matthew she is a city set on a hill
In Mark she is the kingdom of God
In Luke she is the people of God

In John she is the vine and the flock of the shepherd
In Acts she is in the upper room.
In Paul she is established, strengthened, set aright – she is protected, overseen and guided.
In Hebrews she is past, present and future
• the tabernacle, the temple and heaven
• she is the city of the living God
• she is can be approached, touched, and lived
In James she has a holy name.
In Peter she is the ark, the priesthood, and a people purchased for redemption, she is Joy unspeakable and full of Glory.
In John she is the elect lady.
In Jude she is that common salvation once fore all delivered to the saints

In Revelation –
She is the bride
The one going up
The one coming down
She is tried, true and perfect.
She is triumphant
She is home.

What is the Church?

I started writing this in preparation for a sermon that I am working on. Can you guess what it will be about? I will update it later, but I just thought that I would go ahead and post it now. This is, of course, on the model of the song “He Is”.

What is the Church?
In the Torah
Genesis – She is the Garden of Eden, where God walked with Adam in the cool of the evening.
Exodus – She is the Promised Land
Leviticus – the heavenly example of the earthly tabernacle
Numbers – Israel in the wilderness always attacked
Deuteronomy – worth traveling on for

Joshua/Judges – she is worth fighting for, and the choice for a family
Ruth – a gentile who forsook all to follow God
The Kingdoms and the Chronicles – she is the mighty kingdom, the temple and the hope.

Ezra – she is worth coming home to

In Nehemiah – she is the great walled city, rebuilt by the King’s decree

In Esther she is the loyal wife raised up at the moment to save God’s people.

In the Job, David and Solomon, she is wisdom, our mother, our strong tower,

In Solomon’s Song she is the bride of God.

In Isaiah she is the obedient and faithful wife.
In Jeremiah she is the new covenant.
In Lamentations she becomes the unseen hope in the middle of hopelessness.
In Ezekiel she repines to be home
In Daniel she is the kingdom that breaks all others, the stone untouched by hands.
In Hosea she is saved and loved by her husband.
In Joel, she is God’s mighty army.
In Amos she is the rising tabernacle of David and the plumbline
In Obadiah she receives the messenger of the Lord.
In Jonah she is God’s unquestionable reason.
In Micah she is God’s justice.
In Nahum she is God’s remembrance.
In Habakkuk she is the work among the gentiles.
In Zephaniah she is the restoration.
In Haggai she is the glory of the latter.
In Zechariah he is the daughter to whom the King cometh.

In Malachi she awaits her Messiah.

In Matthew she is called.
In Mark she is the kingdom of God
In Luke she is the people of God, the people of God and the people of God
In John she is the vine and the flock of the shepherd and she is comforted.
In Acts she is in the upper room.
In Paul she is established, strengthened, set aright – she is protected, overseen and guided.
In Hebrews she is past, present and future
– the tabernacle, the temple and heaven
– she is the mountain of the living God
– she is can be approached, touched, and lived
In James she has a holy name.
In Peter she is the ark, the priesthood, and a people purchased for redemption, she is Joy unspeakable and full of Glory.
In John she is the elect lady.
In Jude she long ago told about.
In Revelation –
She is the bride
The one going up
The one coming down
She is tried, true and perfect.
She is home.

One Day – Sermon notes

ONE DAY
2 Peter 3.3-10
Longsuffering for repentance and mockers and scoffer, God is not slack concerning His promises.

Messiah promised – Genesis 3.15, Isa 9.6
Messiah given – Luke 2.11

Promises given to Israel – Promised Land, prosperity, peace, protection, and destruction.

mat 24.37-39
Noah – that day did come and will come again

Man’s one day might never get here. God’s always will
Luke 12.16-20 –Man who built towers
Luke 16.19-30 – The Rich Man

mark 13.32 – that day that no man knows

luke 21.34 – that day will come unaware

1 Thess 5.4 – thief in a night – ‘the Day’ in Greek, is an absolute word, implying a certain amount of force to the word that is unable to carry over easily into the English. Each time in Paul’s writings, it is absolute, as if THE DAY is the title, like we would say Easter.

2tim 1.12 – committed against that day

1Co 3.13 – Every man’s works will be revealed in The Day.

Isa 49.8 & 2 Co 6.2 – Now is the day, now is the time
Mark 1:13-14 – The command of Christ
Romans 13.12 – The day is at hand

History is filled with would’ve, could’ve and should’ve’s; don’t let your eternity be.

Ephesians 4.30 – Sealed unto the day of redemption /vs. 1st Peter 2.9 – Peculiar (God’s lay-away plan.)

The Purpose of Life

The Purpose of Life:

The special purpose and life fulfilling realization that entails great prosperity, peace, and a quiet heart before God, entailing the one who understands to gain future promises of help, comfort, a mansion, a new body, comfort, and an abundance of riches, glory, and grace.

Below is a list of daily affirmations that seek to enable people to feel better about themselves, to help them find a purpose in life. They need to repeat these several times in the morning, and perhaps a few times throughout the day.

A List of positive affirmations you can use to boost your self esteem:

* I deserve to be happy and successful
* I have the power to change myself
* I can forgive and understand others and their motives
* I can make my own choices and decisions
* I am free to choose to live as I wish and to give priority to my desires
* I can choose happiness whenever I wish no matter what my circumstances
* I am flexible and open to change in every aspect of my life
* I act with confidence having a general plan and accept plans are open to alteration
* It is enough to have done my best
* I deserve to be loved

The above was taken from: http://www.more-selfesteem.com/affirmations.htm

If you want, there are books, computer programs, websites, seminars, and even individual counseling to help you determine your purpose in life. At the Life Purpose Institute (http://www.lifepurposeinstitute.com/ ), you can pay to become a Life Coach, which I am sure you can turn around and earn a living from. You can get quotes from famous people, mostly telling you that your purpose is exactly what you want it to be and that your desires will determine your destiny. And if that doesn’t work, don’t worry it is not your fault; it is your parents or society’s fault for correcting you and inhibiting your creative growth when you where younger. If they had only encouraged you to be violent, lazy, and selfish instead of correcting you!

Prosperity preachers tell us that our purpose in this life, and indeed the purpose of the Cross, was to give us health and wealth. They see only peace in the bank account, not the peace that enables us to share in the riches of the grace of God. If we but want something, we just have to snap our heels together three times, say a magic phrase, send money to some white-suited preacher and we will have everything that we could want.

Brethren, each of us has a special purpose, not just us, but the entire world! We can live in the prosperity that comes from God. It is God’s purpose for us to be rich and not burdened by sins, but by treasures from heaven. We have a higher purpose.

We do have a purpose on this earth, and indeed, I believe that everyone else does as well. We have been predestined to greatness, to riches, to something greater than ourselves.

In Genesis 1:26-27, the Bible plainly tells us that we are made in the image of God. We were not made to till the earth or to go to work every day. We were brought forth for a reason, for a purpose. Don’t skip ahead and think that the purpose of man is the same as man’s duty. Purpose is why, duty is what. In this Garden, Man walks and talks with God and is in free communion with him. Man is free of sin, because there is no sin, so he is holy. Here is paradise.

We know that Adam fell when he sinned, creating a wall of separation between God and creation, and we also know that at that moment, not in some after thought, God set about to restore all things to Himself. He devised a plan and put it into action. He did not give up on us nor set us aside. He did not destroy us or remove us from His thought altogether, but His very first actions detailed the compassion of the Deity. He demanded separation, but did not leave Adam and Eve without a covering, making a sacrifice of flesh to hide their sins. He spoke the first prophecy, pointing to a time when Man would once again walk with God. Why did he do these things when he could have easily turned us aside?

It is no small thing to say that He loved us, and so He did love us. (Ephesians 2:4, 1st John 4:10, 1st John 4:19) He also had a purpose for us from the very beginning, and although sin interrupted it for a season, there is a pathway to it.

(Eph 1:3-5) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

There are several ways to look at this passage, concerning especially the καταβολης κοσμου (foundation of the world).

1.) World could very well be the world order created after the fall of Adam, where death reigned.

2.) The world is literally this planet. The problem with this is that sin would have to be predestined to, meaning that God predestined pain, suffering, and heartache.

3.) The first and ideal purpose of God was for humanity to share in the holiness of God, but the fall of Adam interrupted that plan.

The word “predestine” (προορίσας, proorizô) means literally “to set out boundaries in advance.” God staked out the boundaries for the group he would adopt. By his sovereign decree, all those in Christ – that is, in the name of Jesus Christ, in His Church – would be in the group. Whether a person is in God’s group, then, depends on what that person has done concerning the Gospel.

We see in 2nd Timothy, Paul makes the same suggestion: that we have a purpose in Christ that has existed before the world began.

(2Ti 1:9) Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

In Greek, the phrase translated as ‘before the world began’ is πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, literally ‘before times eternal’. Time began after the Fall, so we had a purpose before then. What is the purpose that was given in Christ before time began?

To be holy and to share in the glory of God.

So, if we had a purpose before time began, what then afterwards?

(Rom 9:22-24) What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

This passage, of course, details the destruction that the Jews brought upon themselves. Peter tells us that God is longsuffering, is patient, in order that all may be saved. The Jews knew, by their prophets, (just as we do by John) that destruction was coming. They were fitted, like someone getting a tailored suit, for destruction, but God held off until the Church began, and even then it was not until 40 years after the Resurrection that the temple, and thus the Priesthood, was destroyed.

There is a purpose that God has for us once more. The problem is that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

The writer of Hebrews tells us that the goal of Christ in his sufferings was to bring in many sons unto glory (2.10). Paul in Romans 5:2 says that by faith we stand in the Grace of God, and rejoice in confident expectation that we will obtain the glory of God. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, he reminds us that no matter what we are going through, no matter the weights that afflict us, all these things are working together for the eternal weight of glory, because we are working not for the things seen, but for the things unseen, that is the heavenly things.

In 2nd Thessalonians 2:14, Paul tells the Church that we are called to obtain the glory of the Lord. In 2nd Timothy 2:10, in one of Paul’s final letters to his dear friend and son in the Lord, he writes that he is enduring all things that he may obtain the salvation in Christ that comes with eternal glory.

Our purpose during this life is to be saved, in order to obtain the Glory of the Lord.

What is ‘glory’?

Thayer’s defines it this way: a most glorious condition, most exalted state AND the glorious condition of blessedness into which is appointed and promised that true Christians shall enter after their Savior’s return from heaven.

It is an eternal state. It is not used in Scripture to speak about anything external or temporal. No privileges can be attained through this word. It does not bring prosperity or wealth untold. When the Apostles spoke about glory, they were not speaking about new cars, new homes, or happiness on earth. They were living in a world of persecution, where if they but uttered the name of Christ, they stood in violation of the Jews and the entire Roman Empire. They had the entire world against them, so their concerns were not material gain. They were speaking about being with God, as it was first before the fall. They had made Heaven their only priority, seeking first the Kingdom of God.

In Colossians 3:4, Paul says that when Christ comes again, we will appear with him in Glory. In the same letter, Paul tells us that Christ is our hope of glory. (Col 1.27).

We do not need daily affirmation to remind us that we are something special, or that we have a purpose. We but need to read the scriptures to find our true purpose. We hear a lot today from various so-called preachers who say that God’s purpose is external privileges, but nothing in Scripture proves that. We do have riches, but it is a glorious wealth that will see it’s fruition in eternal Glory one day, on that Day when Christ is manifested to the world.

Let me draw your attention to one final detail. Back in Genesis 2:9, we see that God put the Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden. In Revelation 2:7, we are told that if we overcome, then we will eat of the Tree of Life in the midst of the Paradise of God. Further in 22:2, we are told that in the middle of the city of God is the Tree of Life which will bring healing to the nations and in verse 14, we are told that those who keep his commandments we will partake of the Tree of Life. We see the grand scheme of the Bible at work, if we follow the evidence. In Genesis, humanity falls into a separation with God because of disobedience; in Revelation, those who are obedient are united with him forever. In Genesis, there is a tree of life set in the middle of the Garden; in Revelation, it is the city of God that holds the Tree of Life.

Adam fell from his purposed life in the Garden of Eden, and interrupted the set course for this world. God predestined the Church as a set of boundaries as the only way to unite God and man once more. The Tree of Life was there with Adam, and we will see it again.

The Unworthy Glimpses of God

People incorrectly assume that when we die, if we do not achieve holiness or justification, then we will simply perish into non-existence. Allow me but a moment to dispel that a bit.

2Thess. 1.9:

The KJV says:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

The RSV says: They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might,

Premise: The simple idea is that the Lord will judge those who received Him not and banish them, from his immediate presence.

Gill: As soon as the Lord appears, they will perish at his presence like wax before the fire; and so awful will be his appearance, they will flee from it with the utmost terror, and call to the rocks and mountains to hide them from the face of the Lord, and to screen them from his wrath:

Barnes: That is, a part of their punishment will consist in being banished from the immediate presence of the Lord. There is a sense in which God is everywhere present, and in that sense he will be in the world where the wicked will dwell, to punish them. But the phrase is also used to denote his more immediate presence; the place where are the symbols of his majesty and glory; the home of the holy and the blessed

Here we have the Apostle Paul telling the Church at Thessaloníki that those who fail to receive Christ and hold to His dear name will indeed still see God, and will catch a glimpse of Heaven, but on the cusp, as if standing on the sea shore, of the eternal home, they are ripped from it, to face eternal destruction.   What can also be seen is that their is indeed a final and eternal separation between the righteous and those who are not.

See also:

Genesis 3:8 – example of standing in the presence of God, literally.

Matthew 7:22-23 – Speaking about that day, before God, claiming the name

Revelation 20:12 – The dead, the small and the great, standing before God.